WordPress News

Please Welcome Our Newest WordPress Evangelist – Jamie Schmid

By Adam Warner

Since its inception in 2008, SiteLock has been committed to protecting all websites, including those built on WordPress. In 2016 we also made a deeper commitment to the WordPress community as a whole by participating in the WordPress Global Sponsorship Program. Through consistent attendance and speaking engagements at numerous WordCamps across the country over the past two years, we’ve been honored to give back to the community by sharing our knowledge and passion for WordPress and website security. As a testament to our continued commitment, I’m very pleased to announce that our presence in the community continues to grow this year with the addition of the smart and talented Jamie Schmid!

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  Community
sitelock case study

SMB Owner Gets Her Website Back In Shape [Case Study]

By Carrisa Matenaer

Company Background

Dawn H. spent 30 plus years working in the IT industry before deciding to make a career change. Having recently lost 120lbs in 14 months, she developed a personal connection with a women’s shapewear brand and decided to purchase the company in November 2016.

As any small business can attest to, a website is central to establishing their brand. It not only acts as the face of the business, but is also the primary point of contact for customers and a profitable asset. Ninety percent of all Dawn’s business is conducted online through an e-commerce WordPress site. The site is also optimized for mobile use and provides an easy checkout experience. This makes it essential that her website is running safely and securely at all times.

Challenges

Not long after purchasing the women’s shapewear brand, Dawn was slated to attend and exhibit at one of their biggest retail trade shows of the year on the West Coast just before the holiday shopping season. Attending this show was vital to driving brand awareness as well as traffic to her website, which would generate sales. About 12 hours before Dawn and her team were supposed to leave for the event, she received an email from Google saying her website had been hacked. Upon doing her own Google search she discovered that listed under her website name, in big red letters, were the words “THIS WEBSITE MAY BE HACKED.” After further investigation, it was determined that her website had most likely been Google blacklisted for several days before Dawn was even aware. Now in panic mode, Dawn immediately contacted her hosting provider who immediately put her in touch with SiteLock.

Solution and Result

Thanks to the SiteLock customer service team which operates 24/7/365, Dawn was able to get in touch with a SiteLock security consultant mere hours before her show. SiteLock quickly diagnosed the problem and explained that her e-commerce website had experienced multiple hacks in the form of email spam, URL’s referencing spam, and malware. These were security issues that, if left unattended, could have put customer data at risk. SiteLock told Dawn not to worry, and assured her that they would have the issues resolved within four to six hours. Although overwhelmed by the unexpected circumstances, Dawn was grateful for the personal attention and quality support she received from the SiteLock team.

“SiteLock took the time to explain to me exactly what was wrong with my website and helped recommend the right security solution to prevent my site from being hacked again.”

Dawn was relieved to wake up the next morning and see that her website was up and running, no longer blacklisted. Unfortunately, the very next day, her site was once again suspended. This time, Dawn’s hosting provider had found additional spam and malware in old backup files and folders that SiteLock did not have initial access to. Dawn immediately contacted SiteLock, who set up a conference call with the hosting company to help resolve the issue. Dawn explained, “I was so impressed because SiteLock worked directly with my hosting provider to ensure all issues were taken care of and that my website was back up and running smoothly before we hung up the call.”

As a small business owner without an IT department, it could have cost Dawn thousands of dollars to get her website back up, not to mention the potential for lost sales. Together, SiteLock and Dawn were able develop the right security solution for her website utilizing SiteLock TrueShield: Enterprise and SiteLock INFINITY. By taking a proactive approach to website security, Dawn has confidence knowing her website is protected and can focus on growing her business.

Since partnering with SiteLock, Dawn is much more aware of how easily hackers can target and successfully penetrate a website. Dawn recounted, “I never really thought this could happen to me. I assumed my hosting provider was securing my website. It was a tough lesson to learn that website security is actually my responsibility, but one that allows me to now educate others so it doesn’t happen to them.”

Today, Dawn has peace of mind that her site is secured with SiteLock, and her business can continue to run smoothly.  Dawn especially loves the detailed report she receives that shows her just how many attacks continue to be blocked each week.

She is also amazed at the exceptional customer service SiteLock provides. “Every single day my account manager calls me to provide an update on my site. He just calls and says, “Hi Dawn.  I have just started my shift and checked the reports on your site and everything is running smooth.” I mean, how many people do that? Maybe a few. How many do that every day? No one!” Dawn said.

Advice for other Small Business Owners

Dawn also has some advice for other small business owners in hopes of preventing them from having to go through the same ordeal that she did.

“My advice to small businesses is simple and straight forward.  You need to create a security plan and be proactive in securing your website. Don’t think it won’t happen to you.”


We offer a suite of comprehensive and affordable website security solutions to ensure that your website stays free of malware. Check out The District or more SiteLock reviews to see how we have helped other businesses like yours.

 

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  SiteLock Reviews, WordPress security
WordPress Help

Breaking: WordPress Releases Security and Maintenance Update

By Jessica Ortega

On January 16, 2017 WordPress released version 4.9.2, which included several security updates, as well as bug fixes for all versions after WordPress 3.7. WordPress has reported that a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was found in a group of files used to play Flash videos, which was included with all WordPress versions after 3.7. However, because most browsers no longer require these files to play video content, upgrading to version 4.9.2 removes these files. Due to the nature of XSS vulnerabilities, it is highly recommended that WordPress users update their websites immediately to avoid possible compromise.

WordPress notes the following bug fixes and features in particular:

  • Browser issues specific to Mozilla Firefox that prevented saving posts have been corrected.
  • Widget settings will be restored when switching themes in the application settings.

SMART PLUS, SiteLock INFINITY, and Patchman users are protected from this security issue, as SMART/PATCH and the Patchman libraries have been updated with secure patches that protect plugins and themes reliant on their current versions. It is still advised that website owners plan full version upgrades as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features and full list of bug fixes in WordPress version 4.9.2.

For more information about how SiteLock can help protect your websites from vulnerabilities and malware, contact us at 855.378.6200. We are available 24/7/365 to help!

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  SiteLock News, WordPress security
WordCamp US 2017 Recap

WordCamp U.S. 2017 Recap – Beating Hackers to the Draw in Nashville

By Adam Warner

After a year of anticipation and planning, SiteLock arrived in Nashville, TN for WordCamp US – ready to ‘beat hackers to the draw!’ We sponsored the event again this year,  allowing us to meet many of the 1,702 attendees from all around the world. There were also 1,182 viewers who live-streamed the event, making the total attendee count a whopping 3,584!

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordCamp
WordCamp Seattle 2017 Recap

WordCamp Seattle 2017 – The Emerald City Event

By Adam Warner

This past weekend SiteLock attended WordCamp Seattle as a Gold sponsor. It was a heavily attended event with almost five hundred WordPress designers, developers, and content creators who filled the Washington State Convention Center’s Tahoma space on the third floor.

Our experience as a sponsor was excellent! Organizers did a fantastic job placing all the sponsor tables in the same room as registration and refreshments and we had ample room to interact with attendees and learn more about their businesses and the security needs of their clients.

In addition to chatting with attendees, we really love the content that WordCamps offer and the schedule in Seattle provided some unique talks. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordCamp

WordCamp Phoenix 2017 – Feeling Right at Home

By Adam Warner

WordCamp Phoenix has a reputation for being a great event. And lucky for SiteLock, it was close to our headquarters in Scottsdale, allowing more of the SiteLock team to attend than usual, many of them first-time WordCampers!

As someone who works remotely and travels often, this event was especially fruitful for me because it meant I could spend some quality time with our entire team, many of whom I’ve never met in person due to our rapid growth.

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordCamp
WordPress Help

Heads Up: WordPress 4.8.3 Security Release

By Jessica Ortega

WordPress released version 4.8.3 today, which includes a critical security patch. WordPress is advising that all versions 4.8.2 and earlier are vulnerable to SQL injection attack, and that all sites using WordPress should be updated immediately.  The vulnerability in question is related to the $wpdb object where $wpdb->prepare() can create queries that allow attackers to inject malicious code into the MySQL database that powers the site. WordPress is reporting that the vulnerability does not impact core application files, but may impact plugins and themes that use WPDB. The security team has added hardening to prevent these add-ons from inadvertently creating the vulnerability.

We are recommending that all WordPress sites be updated immediately. If you have enabled automatic updates, these should complete within the next 24 hours. Additionally, all plugins and themes associated with your WordPress sites should be updated to their latest vendor provided versions. This will help to ensure your site is not compromised.
It is also recommended that you utilize a malware and vulnerability scanner, such as those provided with SiteLock INFINITY to prevent infections on your site.

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordPress security

SiteLock Digital Kids Fund Campaign 2017

By SiteLock

‘Tis the season to give back, and at SiteLock we are extremely passionate about giving back to the communities where we live and work. We are especially dedicated to supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs for schools in need, and helping to inspire the next generation of technology innovators and pioneers!

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in the last decade employment in STEM jobs has grown 24.4%, making it vital that children in school today have access to the necessary tools to keep up with and continue growth in this field.  However, most states provide less support per student for elementary and secondary schools than before the Great Recession. In an effort to bring continued awareness to this ongoing issue, SiteLock established a Digital Kids Fund in 2015 to help fund technology-based projects at local schools in Arizona. For every SiteLock product purchased by WordPress customers, SiteLock donates $1 to the fund.

In 2016, SiteLock partnered with DonorsChoose.org, an organization that makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, to fund STEM-related projects in schools in the Phoenix, Arizona and Jacksonville, Florida areas. Through their donation, SiteLock was able to support 198 projects benefitting 19,992 students at 141 schools.

This year, SiteLock has once again joined forces with DonorsChoose.org to fund STEM projects for schools in the Phoenix and Jacksonville areas. To help drive additional advocacy and internal support, SiteLock is allocating additional funds to employees so they can individually choose a STEM-related project to fund.

At SiteLock we are reminded every day of the importance technology plays in our lives and work. Unfortunately, kids go to school every day without the necessary tools to be successful. Through our partnership with DonorsChoose.org and the Digital Kids Fund, we are excited to play our part in helping inspire the next generation of technology experts in our local communities.

As we enter the season of giving, here are some ways you can help too!

  • Share this post
  • Donate to one of the SiteLock match donation programs
  • Donate to projects of your choice at DonorsChoose.org

 

 

 

$1 of the purchase price from the sale of every SiteLock product purchased by WordPress customers from 10/1/17-10/1/18 will be donated to the fund* to support classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org.
*Up to $50,000 annually. This contribution is not tax deductible by purchasers and sales must be made through SiteLock.com or a SiteLock representative.
Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  Giving Back
History of WordPress Plugins

A Short History of the WordPress Plugin

By Adam Warner

WordPress plugins allow users to completely customize their website features and experience for visitors, and  also serve as a mainstay of the WordPress experience. It’s safe to say that without them, WordPress wouldn’t have grown to power over 28% of the internet. But did you know that WordPress used to exist without plugins? In this post, I’ll give you a short history of when and why plugins came to be and what the future holds for WordPress because of them.

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordPress Benefits
WordCamp Portland 2017 Recap

WordCamp Portland 2017 – Not Weird at All

By Adam Warner

The SiteLock team recently traveled to Oregon for WordCamp Portland where we had a sponsor table and met  many (if not most) of the attendees. It was a busy camp morning for me because I also presented a session titled “5 Steps to Personal and Website Security“. I’m happy to report that my session was received very well among the WordCampers.

The Sponsor Experience

First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to the #WCPDX organizers. They did an excellent job ensuring the sponsor tables were placed in a room that received steady traffic. The tables were set up between the session rooms, also conveniently located next to the coffee, water, and other refreshments.

The Talks

As with most WordCamps, the session topics were relevant to all types of WordPress users, and the session times were 35 minutes, plus 10 minutes at the end for Q&A. However, there were also lightning talks of 10-15 minutes, which were informative and entertaining.

Ethan Clevenger’s lightning talk discussed how to succeed as a freelancer, and in particular, the reasoning behind raising your prices and how to avoid the fear of making less money. Not only did his talk give valid advice on increasing your revenue while reducing your need to “constantly chase new clients,” but Ethan was also pretty hilarious in the delivery of his content.

In Praise of the Side Project: Learn New Skills, Make Money, and Have Fun.

Rachel Cherry is a Senior Software Engineer at The Walt Disney Company and delivered a unique and inspiring talk to those in attendance. She showed proof that side projects can lead to bigger things like Apple, Twitter, and even Gmail. The point she made though, was that they don’t always have to, sometimes side projects can simply be for testing the waters. This could include learning a new software package, drafting a blog about your favorite food to improve your writing skills, or building websites to razz your friends (#hiroy). Judging by the comments after, her talk made those in attendance feel at ease and less worried about their half-done projects.

Automating Your Workflow

Andrew Taylor’s talk about automation was great. Specifically, automating as much of your daily workflow as possible in order to put processes in place that you can rely on. This also allows you to be more productive. Even though it was a lightning talk, he packed in both the philosophy behind continuous integration and some actual methods he uses in his day-to-day routine.

Don’t Waste Your Content: Repurpose and Keep It Alive

Bob Dunn, more commonly known as BobWP online, delivered a great talk on why and how to repurpose any content you’ve created. He’s been blogging for ten years and produces three successful podcasts. How does he do it? You guessed it, repurposing content in order to save time and meet the needs of his different audiences.

A Little Fun and Frustration with Our Raffle

We always try to do something a little special at WordCamps, in addition to giving out webcam covers and t-shirts. In Portland, we raffled off an Amazon gift card, which was a fun experience. When reading the winning ticket numbers, we had to go through A LOT of them before we finally had a winner. It actually turned out to be pretty entertaining and helped build anticipation.

By all accounts, WordCamp Portland was a great event and one I know we’ll be back to next year. If you weren’t able to attend and you’d like to know more about SiteLock, I encourage you to read more about our company and products, like malware scanning and auto-removal, as well as our web application firewall options.

See you next year!

Tags:   WordPress blog, WordPress security blog, WordCamps, WordPress news, WordPress hacks
Categories:  WordCamp